Corneal neovascularization as a result of contact lens wear is a common finding among eye care practitioners. Blood vessels in the cornea can become sight threatening if they are allowed to progress far enough, therefore it is important to determine "how far" is "too far." This paper will discuss the factors in determining the distance a practitioner should allow corneal neovascularization to progress into the cornea. Included is a discussion of the results of a questionnaire received from thirty optometrists asking to what extent they allow neovascularization to progress before taking action to retard the progression. Also, since some practitioners questioned the difference between normal limbal vasculature and abnormal vessel growth, this issue will also be addressed. This discussion will describe the appearances and characteristics of abnormal vessel growth as opposed to normal changes of the limbal region. Furthermore, an extensive look at the possible factors responsible for the growth of new vessels into the cornea is included and methods of fitting lenses to minimize these factors and therefore reduce the progression of corneal neovascularization.
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